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IntelliGuard, Epic offer RFID inventory system for anesthesiologists; Malaysia rolls out Touch 'n Go RFID-based toll-collection system; Tencent Cloud, STMicroelectronics partner on LoRaWAN IoT platform in China; Resideo joins Zigbee Alliance Board of Directors; Industrial Internet Consortium intros service to facilitate IIoT deployments; SiFive, CEVA provide machine-learning processors for Internet of Things, more.
By Rich Handley

SiFive, CEVA Provide Machine-Learning Processors for Internet of Things, More

SiFive, a provider of commercial RISC-V processor IP and silicon solutions, and CEVA, a licensor of wireless connectivity and smart sensing technologies, have announced a partnership to enable the design and creation of ultra-low-power domain-specific edge AI processors for a range of high-volume end markets.

The partnership, as part of SiFive's DesignShare program, is centered around RISC-V CPUs, CEVA's DSP cores, AI processors and software, which will be designed into SoCs targeting an array of end markets where on-device neural networks inferencing supporting imaging, computer vision, speech recognition and sensor fusion applications is required. Initial end markets include smart homes, automotive, robotics, security and surveillance, augmented reality, industrial and the Internet of Things (IoT).

Domain-specific SoCs which can handle machine-learning processing on-device are set to become mainstream, the companies report, as the processing workloads of devices increasingly includes a mix of traditional software and efficient deep neural networks to maximize performance and battery life, and to add new intelligent features. Cloud-based AI inference is not suitable for many of these devices due to security, privacy and latency concerns. SiFive and CEVA say they are addressing these challenges through the development of a range of domain-specific scalable edge AI processor designs.

The SoCs are supported by CEVA's CDNN Deep Neural Network machine-learning software compiler, which creates runtime software for the CEVA-XM vision processors, CEVA-BX audio DSPs and NeuPro AI processors. Targeted for mass-market embedded devices, CDNN incorporates a range of network optimizations, advanced quantization algorithms, data-flow management and CNN and RNN libraries into a holistic solution that enables cloud-trained AI models to be deployed on edge devices for inference processing. CEVA will supply a development platform for partners and developers based on the CEVA-XM and NeuPro architectures, to enable the development of deep-learning applications using the CDNN, targeting any advanced network, as well as DSP tools and libraries for audio and voice pre- and post-processing workloads.

The SiFive DesignShare IP program offers a streamlined process for companies seeking to partner with vendors to provide pre-integrated premium Silicon IP for bringing new SoCs to market. "CEVA's partnership with SiFive enables the creation of Edge AI SoCs that can be quickly and expertly tailored to the workloads, while also retaining the flexibility to support new innovations in machine learning," said Issachar Ohana, CEVA's executive VP for worldwide sales, in a prepared statement. "Our market leading DSPs and AI processors, coupled with the CDNN machine learning software compiler, allow these AI SoCs to simplify the deployment of cloud-trained AI models in intelligent devices and provides a compelling offering for anyone looking to leverage the power of AI at the edge."

"Enabling future-proof, technology-leading processor designs is a key step in SiFive's mission to unlock technology roadmaps," said Dr. Naveed Sherwani, SiFive's president and CEO, in the prepared statement. "The rapid evolution of AI models combined with the requirements for low power, low latency, and high-performance demand a flexible and scalable approach to IP and SoC design that our joint CEVA / SiFive portfolio is superbly positioned to provide. The result is shorter time-to-market, while lowering the entry barriers for device manufacturers to create powerful, differentiated products."

SiFive's DesignShare program, including CEVA-BX Audio DSPs, CEVA-XM Vision DSPs and NeuPro AI processors, is available now.

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